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Future development of Hydrogen Economy Discussed

Duynhoven and Abraham discuss future development of Hydrogen Economy

Hon Harry Duynhoven MP, Associate Minister of Energy, has welcomed the surprise announcement by US Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, calling for development of international collaboration in advanced research and development that will support the future deployment of hydrogen technologies. The proposed technologies would allow pollution free unlimited generation of energy.

The two Ministers are currently attending the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Ministerial Governing Board Meeting which occurs every two years. The IEA has become the leading authority on world energy forecasting with access to high quality statistical information and an invaluable ability to participate and share in research. As well as ensuring oil security, it plays a significant role on diversity of energy supply (including investment and exploration issues); renewables; climate change; and reviews of international energy policy.

Although the Hydrogen economy was not originally on the agenda, the announcement by Secretary Abraham was particularly timely as Associate Minister Duynhoven is due to visit one of the world's leading experts in the United States currently working on the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, Professor Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado.

"I am very excited about my visit to the Rocky Mountain Institute later this week especially following my discussion with Spencer Abraham regarding the commitment of $1.7 billion by the United States Government towards an area of research that I believe New Zealand can play a leading role in. It is excellent timing that, in my capacity as New Zealand's Associate Minister of Energy, I am visiting Professor Amory Lovins in the US this week, and hosting discussions with him and a number of his colleagues during their visit to New Zealand next week.

"Spencer Abraham expressed considerable interest in the links that I have developed on behalf of New Zealand with the US based Rocky Mountain Institute over quite some time. I hope that this relationship will provide a focal point to facilitate the development of a partnership involving the United States and New Zealand working towards the development of a sustainable Hydrogen Economy in the future along with bolstering trade relations between the two nations" said Mr Duynhoven.

"This is just one of the positive results of this trip for New Zealand and precisely the type of goal I was hoping to achieve as a consequence of my attendance at such a crucial meeting. In addition to the Hydrogen Economy, I shall continue to promote New Zealand's oil and gas exploration potential to the other member nations and play a leading role at this event to ensure that New Zealand's interests in international energy security issues such as maintaining oil stocks are adequately protected" Mr Duynhoven concluded.

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